Breeders benefit from Sire Linkage Programme

Breeders benefit from Sire Linkage Programme

Owners of performance recorded flocks are being invited to nominate rams to join the next round of EBLEX’s Sire Linkage Programme.

The launch of the next round of the programme takes place next month (September), with accepted rams having access to £2,500 of funding for the collection and distribution of semen straws free of charge to other breeders.

Although still in its infancy, the Sire Linkage Programme has helped develop genetic linkage and estimated breeding values (EBVs) in more than 30 performance recorded flocks to date. One ram, whose semen was made available free to breeders as part of an EBLEX genetics initiative, has become one of the highest indexed Texels in the country.

The ram, Avon Vale Real Deal, now ranks second out of more than 600 Texel sires used during 2013, following a rise in his latest Texel breeding evaluation. He currently has 142 progeny in 11 flocks and counting, with two of his sons from the 2013 lamb crop also sitting in the top 10 of performance recorded Texel ram lambs in 2013.

Dylan Laws, EBLEX beef and sheep scientist, said: “The Sire Linkage Programme was set up with Signet Breeding Services, which forms part of EBLEX, to strengthen the quality of breeding evaluations, improve the profile of recording in breeds and societies and give a short-term injection of elite genetics into a breed. Genetic improvement can help sheep farmers enhance the performance of their flocks and Real Deal’s story highlights just how beneficial the sire linkage programme can be.”

The deadline for nominations for the second round of the Sire Linkage Programme is September 30.

For further information about the EBLEX Sire Linkage Programme visit the Signet website at www.signetfbc.co.uk, contact Dylan Laws on 024 7647 8892 or email Dylan.Laws@eblex.ahdb.org.uk.

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